THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX Trailer Arrives And, Seriously, Can We Have The Alex Aja Conversation Now?
It was all the way back in January of 2015 that the first image of 50 Shades star Jamie Dornan in Alexandre Aja's The 9th Life Of Louis Drax arrived online. And if you - like many film fans - have caught yourself wondering from time to time how on earth it can possibly take 18 months from releasing imagery to having a trailer online the answer appears to be the obvious one. They've been sitting on it because it doesn't look very good. And here's the thing: As I watched the trailer I suddenly realized that I wasn't surprised by this, not at all.
My lack of surprise wasn't down to the gap of time between shooting the film, starting the marketing train with the still release and finally getting around to putting this out - although, yes, that's an obvious indicator - but simply because it's an Alex Aja film. And I suddenly find myself wondering, with no real sense of irony at all but in abstract academic terms, whether there has ever been a director with a larger disconnect between their critical presence, their name value, and the actual track record of their work.
Since breaking on to the international scene 2003's Haute Tension, Aja has been a buzz word amongst horror fans. But which of his films actually merits the buzz? The Hills Have Eyes certainly has its devotees and is the one point that I'm willing to concede, though I don't particularly care for the film myself. But following that? Are we expected to believe Aja has name value from Mirrors? The died-a-quiet-death Horns? Piranha 3D certainly has fans but, seriously? Are we really hailing Aja a global master of horror on the basis of a pair of remakes, one of which relies almost entirely on T&A rather than storytelling?
The fact that Aja stays busy as a producer as well has certainly helped his profile but, again, things aren't actually so hot on that side of things if we take objective stock. Maniac is by far the best of Aja's producing efforts and there's a steep decline from there.
So I am left sincerely curious on two fronts. First, why do you think it is that Aja's reputation so far outstrips his actual body of work? And what other directors do you think are similarly overvalued? And, also, you can check out the trailer below.